I have learned through both college and work experience that one of the best ways to learn anything is through critiques of your work and other’s work. That is why, in the spirit of teaching through this blog, I am happy to critique the work of submissions from readers. If you would like a professional critique from me and learn how to better your artwork, be it photo, design, painting, et al, just read these submission guidelines and submit an image through my critique contact form. You can also email your submission to photocrit [at] chrislanephoto.com.
I was recently sent a design image to be critiqued from Renier. This will be the first design critique posted to the blog, so a big thanks to Renier for sending it in. So to start with, here is the original image:
First of all, there is a nice layout of elements with the fresh vegetables. Even the direction of the vegetables is nice, as the pointed top of the onion and the direction of the spoon make a nice movement through the photo. Even the garnish on the top of the casserole adds to this. Personally I probably would have gotten closer with my camera and had less table around, but this composition still shows the product nicely. My main issue with the photo is that it needs more contrast and higher saturation. This would make not only the red of the dish better, but it would make those tomatoes really pop. Here you can see a comparison with just a simple S-Curve adjustment layer.
The top of the dish is used nicely to crop out rest of photo as a design element. Maybe use the photo as a larger design element?
My first thought was that this logo doesn’t really say ‘designer’ to me. The real question here is ‘What is the target market?’ With ‘designer’ in the name, I picture a high class, expensive look. I reworked it in the example below still using Arial with a thinner weight in the bottom line, and aligned the right and left with the word above. Though arial wouldn’t be my first choice for a designer line of products, the use of sans serif is a good choice.
Also, careful of the horizontal line intersecting with the icon at the left. As for the icon, I’m not sure if it is just a C, or if it is also the cover of cookware. It kind of looks like the letter ‘e’ as well.
There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with the design, but something about it gives the impression of budget. Again, this goes back to the target market. Is it a luxury designer brand, or is it affordable everyday cookware? I wonder how is this packaged? Is this just a slip of paper on shrink-wrapped product, or is it printed just on one side of a box? Or is it wrapped around a cylinder?
I like the shapes breaking apart the left and right sides. They have a nice curve. Though, I think the gray curve should connect at the top of the handle. The part where the photo just goes straight up above the gray just looks a little odd.
That brings up a mention of organization. There are quite a few instances where elements aren’t in line with others. The barcode box and “Set of Two” is in line, but not in line with the logo above. The “Providing…” tagline isn’t in line with the edge of the photo. These can be nit-picky, but are easy to fix and can really help with the organization of a design.
With the cut lines evident, it would be good to have some of the photo and colored shape bleeding off, to prevent any cut borders that may appear. This isn’t really a design issue, but just good practice for print.
One of the first things that stood out to me is that lines 3 & 4 are repeated immediately after itself. The line ‘surface never flakes off’ seems like a given. I would hope that it never would. Same goes for the word ‘safe’ in the line to the right. I would reduce the word count in line 2 to something like “Used for baking, serving, and storing food.”
In my experience, most luxury lines have less writing, instead of more. So it depends on the market this product is intended for.
Be careful of inconsistencies. In this case, I noticed that there were instances of capitalizing words that shouldn’t be. It would be best to stick with the first word capitalized and leave the rest lower-case. The other instance is that the design uses both ‘and’ and ‘&’. I would just use ‘and’ throughout.
And remember, if you would like your work critiqued, just go to my critique submission page. Let me know what you thought of the critique in the comments below, and if you haven’t yet, I suggest subscribing so you don’t miss any future critiques and articles.
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